Lately I have been thinking a lot about the idea of comparison and what it can do to us.
I’ve heard a lot of people say before that comparison is the thief of joy, and that is definitely true. But more of what I am coming to realize is that comparison is the thief of compassion.
So, confession, I struggle with comparison. I think all us girls do in some way or another. We all have a comparison trap, whether it’s body image, relationship goals, career aspirations, or a standard that you are trying (or supposed to be) living up to. And that just a small sampling of the long, long list.
We compare ourselves to others all the time, but not only that, we get compared to others… and standards others have.
Anyway, the idea I have been thinking a lot about lately is looking at the way comparison literally strips us our individuality, and the compassion we have for ourselves and others.
I feel like I need to scream this from the rooftop, so I’ll put it on the internet and see who finds it. Here is the truth:
YOU were created to be YOU.
…and sometimes, as simple as that statement is, it is incredibly hard to accept, both for you and for others.
People don’t talk about how hard it is to accept yourself, especially when the person who you actually are feels at odds against the world. Being authentically YOU and building a life that is centered around your unique gifts and talents is no doubt an uphill battle, just as most things in life that are worth striving for.
Cause chances are, if you are being yourself, it is going to come with some friction. The reason there is friction is because of comparison.
So imagine this scenario… you are climbing a mountain. This mountain represents some goal you are pushing towards or trying to achieve. You are doing a pretty good job… even though it was hard to motivate yourself to get started, now you are making some serious progress. Suddenly, the mountain starts to get really steep, and it gets slippery, and you start to slide. Then you start sliding down, down, and further down, until you are back where you started.
The slippery, sliding part of the mountain? That’s comparison. It backtracks all our progress…
…and suddenly we are down at the bottom the mountain, feeling bad about ourselves, and not only that, feeling bad about the people and expectations we compared ourselves to.
For example, I love writing. I feel confident in my ability to write and share words with the world. But sometimes, it is extremely, EXTREMELY hard to even sit down at my computer to type and get the words out. And you know why?
Because I literally sit and compare myself to every blogger, influencer, and writer I know or follow, and think to myself “why should I even bother? I’ll never be as good as them.” So I’ll take the little bit that I wrote, erase it, and wait until the next time.
This is not my attempt to fish for affirmation because obviously if you’re reading this you probably don’t feel that way, but if I’m being super honest with you, that is a real struggle of mine. You probably have those insecurities too.
Well, my friend, this is what I have to say to you today:
THE COMPARISON ENDS HERE.
I’m putting this on my blog, because that’s where I need to see it.
Maybe you need to put it on your bathroom mirror. Your desk at work. Maybe you need to text it to a family member or friend.
But the truth is, the comparison needs to stop somewhere. Otherwise, we will continue to run in circles trying to become just like everyone else. And in out search to become everyone else, we will lose our compassion for ourselves and others.
I read somewhere that compassion motivates us to go out of our way to care for others: physically, mentally, and emotionally. The opposite of compassion is selfishness and greed. And what’s more selfish and greedy than wishing to be someone who we are not?
Let this be the point in your life where comparison ends, and compassion begins… compassion for yourself, and all those around you.
Friend, you were created for much too much in this life to let it pass by you pretending to be someone you’re not.
Today, EMBRACE who you were made to be, and live in purpose. Let that purpose guide you into places where you can show others compassion, kindness, and love.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that who you are is not enough.
And remember: compassion begins where comparison ends.
So… let’s start right now! Drop a comment below about ONE way you want to vow to STOP the comparison in your life and BEGIN to show compassion to yourself and others… I’ll be the first! 😉